Sailing in Croatia

Sailing in Croatia • Stiniva - Palmižana


Željka is leaving today with the early morning ferry so I accompany her to the ferry port, located outside of the port of Starigrad. A path near the coast leads from the center of Starigrad to the ferry port. After the ferry leaves I return to the harbor and sail out. I sail near the northern coast of Hvar to the bay Stiniva ("Stony bay"), in which there is a massive pier. As I discovered, this was once the port of the village Brusje, 3 km up on the hill. The coast of the bay is steep, except the pebble beach at its very end. Behind the pier I encounter a sailboat with a group of Frenchmen that were still sleeping when I arrived. In Stiniva there are a couple of houses with restaurants that are open only in the summer. Soon a wooden cruiser arrives and docks at the pier. As I saw tourists swim in the sea happily, I tried the same. The sea was cold, but it was my first bath in the sea this year. The ship left later in the afternoon.



As Željka returns on the sailboat in two weeks and I intend to meet her in the city of Hvar I decide to stay in Stiniva a couple of days because docking in Stiniva is free and Hvar is very expensive (to dock in the city port costs 30€ for my small sailboat). A guy takes me in his car up to the village Brusje. Here I stop the first car going in direction of Hvar. In Hvar I buy everything I need in the local supermarket and later return to Brusje with the only bus connecting Hvar and Brusje daily.


The captain of the wooden cruiser that was in Stiniva two days ago explained to me that in Stiniva it's not safe when the weather is bed (and later added that he never actually was in Stiniva with such a weather). Today, strong mistral is blowing and creating big waves in the Hvar Channel. There are not too many sailboats at sea. In front of Stiniva I see the hull of a big sailboat disappear behind the waves so I estimate the height of the waves to be 2 meters. Although mistral and tramontana are the most problematic winds in Stiniva (waves of mistral can reflect from the stony coast and enter behind the pier), behind the pier the situation is relatively good.


The weather is much calmer today. A team of Croats arrive in Stiniva on a 10-m chartered sailboat. Before they chartered the sailboat their skipper got ill, and in Ubli on Lastovo a member of the crew, after having heard the bad weather forecast, abandoned the sailboat and the rest of the crew and took the ferry to Split! We talk and drink on their sailboat until late.




I sail out early in the morning, passing along numerous deep bays before reaching the easternmost point of the island Hvar, Cape Pelegrin. Here I enter the Pakleni Channel and close reach in direction of the city of Hvar. I dock at a small pier in the westernmost part of Hvar, the small bay Podstine ("Under the cliffs"). The bay is open to the W and on its southern side there are almost vertical 15 m high cliffs. Despite the rocks at the exterior of the pier, the damages on the pier witness the power of the sea. From Podstine to the center of Hvar it takes about 20 minutes of walk along the coast.



I sail in direction of nearby Pakleni islands, at the other side of the Pakleni Channel. I anchor in the well-protected bay Ždrilca on the island Marinkovac. The bay is protected from NW by the islet Planikovac, there's a sandy bottom and the anchor holds well. Sirocco is blowing in the night.



I come back to Podstine. During the day the mistral is becoming stronger and stronger. It's particularly strong here in Pakleni Channel where it creates big waves. In the night there are waves behind the pier too so it's impossible to sleep.



In the dawn I'm very tired. As the wind weakened a bit I sail out with the first rays of light. I go to the 2 miles distant bay Palmižana, the best protected bay on Sv. Klement, the biggest island among Pakleni islands. ACI marina is located in the bay. I dock and have a short sleep. When I wake up I go for a walk to the bay Taršće and then for a short swim in the most attractive bay on the island, Vinogradišće. Except Palmižana, all these bays are located on the southern side of Sv. Klement. Strong bora starts blowing in the evening. Although it raises no waves in Palmižana, it's a big problem to many inexperienced skippers entering the marina. A group of Poles who wanted to dock near me almost hit my sailboat. Only my shouting and a fender prevented the crash. As if it were not enough the Poles wanted only to fill the sailboat with water and sail out, without paying anything. And so they did, after a half an hour of animated discussion with the marina staff. Where are they going out with this bora and the night falling, I have no idea. Despite bora, I sleep very well.





Željka is arriving today, and this time she stays the whole month on the sailboat. I sail to Hvar. Once I'm in front of the harbor I see the catamaran from Split arriving behind Cape Pelegrin. When the catamaran discharged the passengers and left, I docked, allowing Željka to load her luggage on board. Avoiding a big cruiser anchored in front of the harbor we return to Palmižana. Later we go to Vinogradišće for a bath.


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Sailing in Croatia: Sailing in Croatia • Vis - Korčula - Lastovo
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